MGM Springfield budget now $950 million, but new plan still needs approval

What's next for the MGM Springfield resort casino project.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- MGM Springfield says they plan to spend an extra $150 million dollars on their resort casino.

Initially it was a $850 million project, then an estimated $800 million , now an estimated $950 million.

MGM Springfield’s President, Mike Mathis said, “We are going to deliver on the project that we promised to the city.”

The casino developer explained their plans to reduce the footprint of the project in the South End on Wednesday night at a public forum.  MGM says they’ve already spent $235 million on this resort casino project. Seventy million which has been spent in Springfield.  MGM said they’ve had 675 construction workers on the project so far, and 34 of the companies they’ve worked with are from western Massachusetts.

President of MGM Resorts International, Bill Hornbuckle said, “Our budget to get this thing accomplished between now and September of 2018 is $950 million.”

Residents and city leaders had expressed concern in September.  In a filing with the state, MGM wanted to reduce the size of their project by up to 14%; replacing the 25-story hotel they had touted for three years with a six story hotel to stay reasonably within the previous $800 million budget.  Wednesday night, reassurance was given that the actual reduction is around 10%.

David Glantz, the owner of Buckeye Bros. Smokeshop, which is located near where the casino will be located said, “They’ve done this before they know what they’re doing and I think we’re in good hands with MGM.”

Updated site plans show a reduction to the size of a loading dock, employee kitchen, and a bowling alley that will be 10 lanes instead of 15.  The updated plan will have to be approved by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Mayor Domenic Sarno, and Springfield City Council.

MGM had initially said that once the doors of the casino open the majority of the 3,000 plus employees will come from the Springfield area.

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